For a lot of people, when Sri Lanka or Ceylon is mentioned, tea is the first thing that comes to mind. You can’t blame them, for Ceylon tea is some of the best to be found in the entire world. Indeed, I know some people who will not settle for anything less than Ceylon tea.
If you are a tea enthusiast, then Ceylon should be at the top of your list of travel destinations. Naturally, you would expect to find accommodations that highlight this national specialty. If we’re to rely on the opinions of experts and seasoned travelers, you will not go wrong in choosing the Tea Factory Hotel. The name itself tells you what to expect – what you see is what you get.
The Tea Factory Hotel is a hotel located in the premises of a tea factory. It is as authentic as you can get, really. The edifice used to be a tea factory, and the current hotel bedrooms used to be the areas where tea leaves were withered. For those unfamiliar with the tea making process, withering is the first step in manufacturing black tea. Once the tea leaves (still green) are picked, they are delivered to the factory to be withered. There is no doubt about it – even in your very room, you can feel the genuineness of the tea factory experience in this hotel.
The Tea Factory Hotel is located in Nuwara Eliya, a town about 160 kilometers from Colombo. It is set at 2,200 meters above sea level, making the conditions perfect for growing tea. The hotel is classified as a 4-star hotel, making sure that guests enjoy the luxury and pampering that they are yearning for. There are 57 rooms in the hotel, 4 of which are deluxe. All of the rooms are heated or cooled, depending on the needs and preferences of the guests. Rooms are also equipped with satellite TV, phones with IDD access, and Internet ports. For a relaxing bath after a long day of rambling around the estate, the attached bathrooms are equipped with bathtubs and showers (with hot water, naturally).
Within the hotel, there is a small tea factory, which is open for the use of guests. An experience that you must not miss is picking your own tea leaves from outside of the hotel and then turning them over to the factory for processing. At the end of the whole process, you may enjoy a cup (or two) of tea made from the very leaves that you picked up!
Around the estate, guests may enjoy the ambiance of an authentic tea plantation. You will certainly enjoy interacting with the plantation workers, who find it a pleasure to share their craft with others. There are also natural springs around the area. The best time to visit this area is from March to May, which are the hottest months of the year. Be warned, though, that April usually draws in crowds of people yearning for the authentic Ceylon tea experience.